Turkey and EU/rope: Discourses of Inspiration/Anxiety in Turkey’s Foreign Policy

Pinar Bilgin, Ali Bilgic

Abstract


The literature on Turkey-European Economic Community/Union (EEC/EU) relations scrutinises how various EEC/EU actors vacillate on Turkey’s accession to European integration contingent upon their image/s of Turkey. Turkey’s own wavering vis-à-vis EEC/EU, however, is almost always explained with reference to its domestic dynamics (political and economic ups and downs) but not Turkey’s policy-makers’ image/s of the European Community/Union. What often goes unacknowledged is that throughout the history of Turkey-EEC/EU relations, Turkey’s policy-makers’ discourses have oscillated between representing EU/rope as a source of inspiration and a source of anxiety. Contra those readings of Turkey’s relations with EU/rope as revolving around the dichotomy of ‘Turkey being European/not’, our analysis of Turkey’s policy-makers’ discourses on EEC/EU at key moments of the relationship during 1959-2004 shows that Turkey’s policy-makers’ representations of EU/rope are structured around three binaries that give away a persistent ambivalence vis-à-vis EU/rope as a source of and a solution to Turkey’s insecurities. Such ambivalence, in turn, is not uncharacteristic of post-colonial encounters.

Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.5539/res.v4n3p111

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Review of European Studies   ISSN 1918-7173 (Print)   ISSN 1918-7181 (Online)

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